Shooting agriculture, Nigeria’s goldmine into limelight

Photo Credit: Logbaby

By EveEden

Recently, I attended a power sector press conference aimed at making renewable energy as an alternative to providing electricity over the traditional grid-system. This particular event was initiated by USAID (United States Agency for International Development), Power Nigeria and Winrock as key sponsors. Aside this particular event, I have attended more than ten annual oil, gas and power industry programme.

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Among these annual programmes is the West African International Petroleum Conference and exhibition (WAPTEC), Power Nigeria, Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) etc. I cannot deny that Nigeria’s power industry has gone beyond improvement especially with open access to private investors. Beneath my astonishment and praise for this industry, I still feel dissatisfied that the nation could have prioritized the agricultural sector as it has done for the power sector by placing it at the front pews among other sectors.

There are notable Nigerian traditional publications specialized in disseminating oil, gas and power reports; for instance, there is the African oil and Gas report, Sweet crude, Oil and Gas Republic, Oriental news among others. None established for the agricultural sector.

There are notable Nigerian traditional publications specialized in disseminating oil, gas and power reports; for instance, there is the African oil and Gas report, Sweet crude, Oil and Gas Republic, Oriental news among others. None established for the agricultural sector. 

Perhaps, I may exempt the government on this lag in agriculture sector because I identify the Nigerian media as the culprit. In my opinion, the Nigerian media are at fault by failure to create awareness about the numerous potentials of the sector.

They have failed to recognize the agricultural sector as a source for rich news content that can tremendously change the lives of citizens. A smidgen portion is given to agricultural contents.  It is even more appalling, that the entertainment sector gets more attention than the agricultural sector that can ensure a hungry free nation.

A thousand and one online news websites are dedicated for purely entertainment benefits. This often creates a deceptive illusion, that being a celebrity in any of the genres of entertainment is the only platform to be fame and have fortune. Thus, if you are not in the entertainment industry; you are no body. This over bearing attention in entertainment industry has churned out many celebrities that we cannot pen down a positive thing about. Rather, they are increasing moral decadency and unscrupulous adventures in the entertainment world all in a bid of making names for themselves.

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Most themes we learn from music, movies are redundant. If the 45 million budgeted for the winner of all applauded Big Brother Naija reality show is channeled into tuber farming. I am sure a steady growth would be attained in farming. Many would be employed, investors may even be attracted.

Most themes we learn from music, movies are redundant. If the 45 million budgeted for the winner of all applauded Big Brother Naija reality show is channeled into tuber farming. I am sure a steady growth would be attained in farming. Many would be employed, investors may even be attracted.

Likewise, the political sector, if I am permitted is the media. For the media, politics is the news. I am not neglecting the symbiotic relationship between these two entities. Disappointingly, political contents are devoid of the tenants of journalistic profession. Political contents are sullied with false facts, inaccuracy, unbalanced reportage etc.

Allocating more than 80percent space and time to political news does not add a drop of oil into citizens’ hands or make more bread available. After all the street parliaments on debates about the escapades of our politicians; the hungry is still starving, the naked unclothed and the wanderer homeless. The dominance of political news is not revamping the economic; we are still battling with inflation, indigence, poor public image of our country due to the specious contents of political scene.

At the end of the day; we are still chased with same news contents; election results would be rigged, fuel scarcity still suffice, citizens’ rights unduly infringed, our security remains insecure, politicians are cross carpeting among parties, embezzling the nations resources and incompetent. Nothing novel to inform the citizens about to indicate that democracy is practiced in the country.

The dominance of political news is not revamping the economic; we are still battling with inflation, indigence, poor public image of our country due to the specious contents of political scene.

Nigeria may not get an eastern president; the local government chairman would not stop having ten personal assistants, the northerners and Easterners may never live like a couple. So, why replicate and reiterate the happenings of this sector when it doesn’t generate any positive growth and development for the country. Let’s not waste our pen inks and papers writing something that doesn’t transform lives anymore. The media need to perform its four roles of informing, educating, entertaining and persuading the citizen’s about the agricultural sector. It’s been more than ages neglected.

The agriculture sector of this country needs awareness to earn it good image branding and attract investors. The media should confer status on this industry as the savior to the deteriorating economy of the nation. The sector has proved itself imperishable despite the neglect on this industry.  Farmers and all concerned are still productive; at least our local staple foods are sourced locally and even surplus wasted due to lack of preservative and storage infrastructure. I bet if it was the power sector that was abandoned; we would have commemorated the funeral rites of the power sector.

As a resident in Lagos states, I cinch my teeth each time I pass across the local markets in my vicinity and sight the waste of our agricultural produce. The tubers, fruits and vegetable farm products are forsaken and to rotten and decay. At the end the traders are left to count loss instead of gains, due to the absence of preservatives mechanisms.

The media need to create a prestigious image for this sector and debunk the perception of agriculture as a fruitless journey tied with difficulties and low dignity. I trust with an avalanche of awareness of this sector by the media; local and foreign investors would be lured into the sector.

The youths would be better informed about the glory of this sector and many would identify with it; instead of roving in every street studio producing clichés for the eyes and ears. Farmers and industries that are already in the vocation would esteem themselves.

The media need to create a prestigious image for this sector and debunk the perception of agriculture as a fruitless journey tied with difficulties and low dignity. I trust with an avalanche of awareness of this sector by the media; local and foreign investors would be lured into the sector.

EveEden is a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in Enugu State where she studied Mass Communication. She sent in this from Lagos.

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